Phonics - our intent
At Iveson Primary School, we have adopted a new DfE validated systematic, synthetic phonics programme known as Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS). The programme is designed to teach our children from Reception to the end of Key Stage 1 to become fluent, lifelong readers.
Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS) teaches children how to read quickly and ensures all learners ‘keep up’ with the pace of the programme with fluency and confidence. It does this through consistent lesson structure, resources and language from the very beginning of their Iveson journey. This minimises cognitive load and increasing children’s success.
We acknowledge that children need to be taught the key skills in decoding to be able to complete the Phonics Screening Check at the end of Year 1. We also value and encourage our children to read for enjoyment and recognise that this starts with the foundations of acquiring letter sounds, segmenting and blending skills.
Phonics and reading are essential tools to access the whole curriculum, to engage and make sense of knowledge and to explore, question and respond to the world. A strong phonics foundation ensures our children flourish as readers and therefore develop socially, emotionally, intellectually and culturally.
Essential Letters and Sounds teaches children to read using a systematic synthetic phonics approach. It is designed to be used as part of an early learning environment that is rich in talk and story, where children experience the joy of books and language whilst rapidly acquiring the skills to become fluent independent readers and writers. ELS teaches children to:
- Decode by identifying each sound within a word and blending them together to read fluently.
- Encode by segmenting each sound to write words accurately.
At Iveson, during the first few days in Reception whole class, daily phonics teaching begins. Through the rigorous ELS teaching programme, children will build an immediate understanding of the relationship between the sounds they can hear and say (phonemes) and the written sounds (graphemes).
Children will be taught the skills to achieve the following Early Learning Goals. Children at the expected level of development will:
- Say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs.
- Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending.
- Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words.